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Tag Archives for " investigation "

UK regulator to write to WhatsApp over Facebook data sharing

The UK’s data regulator is writing to WhatsApp to demand that the chat app does not hand user data to Facebook, as millions worldwide continue to sign up for alternatives such as Signal and Telegram to avoid forthcoming changes to its terms of service.

Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, told a parliamentary committee that in 2017, WhatsApp had committed not to hand any user information over to Facebook until it could prove that doing so respected GDPR.

Source: UK regulator to write to WhatsApp over Facebook data sharing | WhatsApp | The Guardian

ICO resumes adtech investigation

In May 2020, UK’s information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) paused investigation into real time bidding (RTB) and the adtech industry, as they prioritised activities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now ICO have resumed the investigation.

Work will continue with a series of audits focusing on digital market platforms and we will be issuing assessment notices to specific companies in the coming months. The investigation is vast and complex and, because of the sensitivity of the work, said ICO.

Source: Adtech investigation resumes | ICO

Brussels zeroes in on Google’s adtech business

Brussels is not done with Google and has added the advertising technology at the heart of the search giant’s business model to its long list of concerns.

After slapping the U.S. search giant with fines exceeding €8 billion in three antitrust cases, the European Commission is now running two more investigations into Google. The first focuses on how the U.S. company gathers and uses data and the second one on how it behaves in the advertising business. The second case focuses on Brussels’ investigation into “Google’s practices in the advertising technology (“ad tech”) value chain, and its position in relation to advertisers, publishers and intermediaries, and competitors in search advertising, display advertising and ad tech services,” the document continues.

Source: Brussels zeroes in on Google’s adtech business – POLITICO

Confusion over WhatsApp’s new T&Cs triggers privacy warning from Italy

Confusion over an update to Facebook-owned chat platform WhatsApp’s terms and conditions has triggered an intervention by Italy’s data protection agency.

The Italian DPA said today it has contacted the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) to raise concerns about a lack of clear information over what’s changing under the incoming T&Cs.

In recent weeks WhatsApp has been alerting users they must accept new T&Cs in order to keep using the service after February 8.

Source: Confusion over WhatsApp’s new T&Cs triggers privacy warning from Italy | TechCrunch

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission ‘acutely strained’ by big tech cases

The Data Protection Commission warned it was “acutely strained” as it grappled with cases involving giant multinational tech companies and rising complaints from members of the public.

The agency also said it faced an uphill battle as it investigated big technology firms who had access to “disproportionate resources” to fight their corner.

They said the commission was now frequently accused of lengthy delays in its investigations because they were limited in the amount of inquiries they could progress at any one time.

Source: Data Protection Commission ‘acutely strained’ by big tech cases

Turkey investigates WhatsApp and Facebook over data privacy update

Turkey’s competition authority has opened an investigation into WhatsApp over a new update that requires users to share more data with its parent company, Facebook.

The popular messaging platform has been widely criticised for asking its users to agree to the new terms or lose access to their accounts from February 8.

The Head of Turkey’s Digital Transformation Office, Ali Taha Koc, said that foreign applications pose serious security risks.

Source: Turkey investigates WhatsApp and Facebook over data privacy update | Euronews

UK competition watchdog opens probe into Google privacy changes

Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ plan to remove third party cookies from its Chrome browser is being probed by a regulator in the United Kingdom over concerns it would be anticompetitive. The tech giant’s proposals, which have yet to be finalised, would see third party cookies disabled on its Chrome and Chromium browsers.

The Competition Markets Authority has now began an investigation into whether the plan would unfairly distort the market in Google’s favour and breach competition law.

Source: UK competition watchdog opens probe into Google privacy changes

Police turn to car data to destroy suspects’ alibis

In recent years, investigators have realized that automobiles — particularly newer models — can be treasure troves of digital evidence. Their onboard computers generate and store data that can be used to reconstruct where a vehicle has been and what its passengers were doing.

They reveal everything from location, speed and acceleration to when doors were opened and closed, whether texts and calls were made while the cellphone was plugged into the infotainment system, as well as voice commands and web histories.

Full article: Insecure wheels: Police turn to car data to destroy suspects’ alibis

How Your Digital Trails Wind Up in the Police’s Hands

Data collected for one purpose can always be used for another. Search history data, for example, is collected to refine recommendation algorithms or build online profiles, not to catch criminals. Usually.

Smart devices like speakers, TVs, and wearables keep such precise details of our lives that they’ve been used both as incriminating and exonerating evidence in murder cases. Speakers don’t have to overhear crimes or confessions to be useful to investigators. They keep time-stamped logs of all requests, alongside details of their location and identity. Investigators can access these logs and use them to verify a suspect’s whereabouts or even catch them in a lie.

Full article: How Your Digital Trails Wind Up in the Police’s Hands | WIRED

FTC launches sweeping privacy study of top tech platforms

The Federal Trade Commission is launching a new inquiry into the privacy and data collection practices of major tech firms including Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook as well as its subsidiary WhatsApp.

The agency wants much of the usage and engagement data the platforms collect on their users, the metrics they use for measuring such things and short- and long-term business strategies, among many other areas of inquiry.

Source: Scoop: FTC launches sweeping privacy study of top tech platforms – Axios

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